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Benefits of attending regional and national MG conferences

WARNING: SO MANY PHOTOS TO SHARE!

It’s been a while since I have shared a post. I got a little sidetracked with a bunch of travel opportunities! In the month of October alone, I attended the GMGA annual conference, the Southern Region Master Gardener Conference, and the National Extension Master Gardener Coordinators’ Conference. Each offered compelling reasons to attend, even when it meant A LOT of time out of the office.

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Participants in the “Teaching with Demonstration Gardens” Advanced Training October 3, 2014

It was very beneficial to meet with Georgia MGEVs in Savannah in early October for Advanced Training and for the GMGA Annual Conference. I enjoy teaching, and a full day of Advanced Training in a fantastic garden (we were at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden) was a terrific day in my book! If walking in the garden, taking in the heady scent of Osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus (Orange-flowered Tea Olive), did not provide some horticultural recharge, then certainly all the talk of camellias and crinums at the GMGA conference did the trick!

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Osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus (Orange-flowered Tea Olive) at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden Savannah, GA October 2014

Later in the month, I was able to attend the Southern Region MG conference in Baton Rouge, LA. This was the first regional conference I have attended, and it gave me a glimpse of MGEV programs in our region. These are states with whom UGA Extension and the Georgia MGEV program are likely to cooperate and work together on regional grants and projects. The conference provided an opportunity to visit with a few other state coordinators and agents as well as to understand the passion and enthusiasm of Southern Region MGEVs! Again, add in a dose of horticultural recharge, and you can see how these conferences really give perspective and are packed with benefits!

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Windrush Gardens at the Burden Center, Louisianan State University, Baton Rouge, LA

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Afton Villa Garden, St. Francisville, Louisiana

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Windrush Gardens at the Burden Center, Louisianan State University, Baton Rouge, LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished October’s tour with the National EMG Coordinators’ Conference in New Brunswick, NJ. What a valuable opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with other state and local coordinators of MGEV programs across the country! I came back with some new ideas for growing the Georgia MGEV program and our outreach. Did I mention horticultural recharge?! I am still babbling about visiting the High Line.

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Plants spark discussion among fellow conference -goers. The High Line, New York

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Many High Line plants are native and naturalized materials. High Line, New York

The next time you have an opportunity to attend a regional or national MGEV conference, I encourage you to go! Allow plenty of space in your suitcase or car for new plants. Make sure you have a back-up memory card for your camera. Find a buddy, and put on your comfortable walking shoes! In fact, you might want to mark your calendars for these exciting dates:

2015 GMGA Conference, September 11-12, 2015, Dahlonega, GA; hosted by Georgia Master Gardener Association

2015 International Master Gardener Conference, September 22-25, 2015, Council BLuffs, Iowa; hosted by University of Nebraska and Iowa State University

2017 International Master Gardener Conference, July 10-14, 2017; hosted by Oregon State University

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sdorn

About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.